Dear ISTA Members,
Last Friday, April 29, the long session of the 2011 General Assembly concluded. During this session, several education bills were passed that will directly affect you as an educator.
I want you to know that ISTA is already working to evaluate the new legislation line by line to find out exactly what its effect will be on you, on our public schools and on the more than one million students our public schools serve. ISTA is currently developing strategies which will allow it to advocate successfully for you as implementation of these new laws begin.
Over the next few weeks ISTA will be in contact with you to share what the new landscape of public education means to you, your colleagues, your school and your community and will provide local leaders with the additional training and support they will need to successfully advocate at the local level.
During this session ISTA was able to improve some of the proposed legislation to make it somewhat more palatable. However, because of the current political makeup of the legislature, ISTA was not able to affect as much positive change as I would have liked.
The success that ISTA did experience during this legislative session was the direct result of the efforts of thousands of ISTA members like you. Your phone calls, emails, attendance at rallies, hand-written letters and face-to-face meetings with legislators often made the critical difference when legislators cast their votes on bills directly or indirectly affecting public education and school employees.
I offer my sincere thanks to all of the ISTA family for standing firm against anti-public education forces. Again, by standing together and working together we can achieve more than any of us can alone. As Winston Churchill once said, “If we are together nothing is impossible, if we are divided all will fail.”
I know, and I want you to know as well, that while the work regarding this particular legislative session is over –ISTA’s work representing you in the changing landscape of public education, in our state and indeed in our country, is really just beginning. In fact, because of the legislation which was passed, there never may have been a time that the work ISTA does, and will do, was needed more than at this critical time in public education.
Finally, I want you to know that ISTA will be leading the way in providing the support, training and resources you and your locals need as we move forward through these changing times.
Nate Schnellenberger, ISTA President